22nd Riga Arsenals

Latvia, September 12 - September 21 2008

The jury

Michel Euvrard (Canada), Peter van Bueren (The Netherlands), Penka Monova (Bulgaria), Arthur Werner (Germany), Agris Redovics ()

Awarded films

In many ways the Riga International Film Festival (IFF) “Arsenals” is different from other film festivals. It takes place in the capital of Latvia, the middle of the three Baltic countries. The biannual festival was established in 1986 at the initiative of some filmmakers, among them Augusts Sukuts, from the start acting as festival director. The IFF is organized by the International Center of Cinema in co-operation with the Riga City Council, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the National Film Center of Latvia.

The festival includes the International Competition, the Baltic Competition (films from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), the retrospective screenings, the World Cinema Panorama, and special thematic programs. The main part of the program consists of feature films but documentaries and animated and short films are also selected. There work only two jury at Arsenals: the FIPRESCI jury, and the INTERFILM jury. It’s the only International Film Festival that is not opened by speeches. There have not been many changes over the years. But this year, Sukuts unexpectedly resigned and designated as his successor the producer and scriptwriter and former culture journalist, Elvita Ruka. This year’s “Arsenals” came with a novelty — the Embassy of Austria in Riga, supporting the promotion of filmmaking in the Baltic States, gave an award to the best Baltic debutant. (Andrea Dittgen)